Saturday, June 18, 2011

Adoption Option: What Do You Say To Someone Who Is Struggling With Infertility?

A lot of couples are becoming more and more open about their struggles with infertility.  Many turn to their family and friends for support and encouragement.  What can you say to a friend or family member that will help them feel better when they come to you?

This week I ran into an old friend from work in the grocery store.  She started telling me that her sister is now experiencing infertility and she and her husband are trying to decide whether to try in vetro or to try adoption.  She expressed concern for her sister because she is having a hard time. She said that she didn't know what to say to her sister to make her feel better.  She asked me what she should say to her.  I told her that there really is nothing to say. Her sister just needs support and most of all time.  Time is the only thing really that will heal this sadness. 

She seemed a little surprised at my answer and I can sympathize with that.  When someone you love is hurting, all you want to do is make them feel better somehow. So, you search for the right things to say.  In reality what a person really needs is a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.  Tell them you love them and are there for them whenever they need you.  Tell them you understand that it must be really hard for them. Help them to know that they are supported in whatever decision they make.  Tell them that they will know what the right decision is for them and not for anyone else.

When my husband and I were in this process of mourning for the lost dreams of having children biologically, I remember very well the times I turned to a friend or a family member for a shoulder to cry on. At the time it consumed my whole life and was all I could think about. At one point, a good friend told me that she wished she knew what to do to make it better for me. 

So, if you know someone who is struggling, just be there for them.  Don't get tired of listening to them. Don't try to find the right things to say.  Just sympathize with them.  We have all gone through hard things in our lives, so we can all relate to each other in many ways even though our situations are different.  

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1 comment:

  1. this is very good advice Julie. I know there have been MANY times that I wished I knew the right thing to say - the best words to help someone through a given situation - when in reality nothing was best. Sometimes all you can do is just be there with love and support because nothing said will help. Thanks for this wonderful post!